Overcoming Sin

There is an interesting verse in Genesis chapter four that we have all read countless times, but today I realized God Himself gave us the key to victory over sin.

Genesis 4:1-10 CJB “The man had sexual relations with Havah his wife; she conceived, gave birth to Kayin [acquisition] and said, “I have acquired a man from Adonai.” In addition she gave birth to his brother Hevel. Hevel kept sheep, while Kayin worked the soil. In the course of time Kayin brought an offering to Adonai from the produce of the soil; and Hevel too brought from the firstborn of his sheep, including their fat. Adonai accepted Hevel and his offering but did not accept Kayin and his offering. Kayin was very angry, and his face fell. Adonai said to Kayin, “Why are you angry? Why so downcast? If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.” Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him. Adonai said to Kayin, “Where is Hevel your brother?” And he replied, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s guardian?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”

In verse seven, God told Cain, “if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door — it wants you, but you can rule over it.” Cain brought God his leftovers, while Abel brought God the first. Instead of recognizing his wrongdoing, Cain let anger rule in his heart. God warned Cain that sin was lying in wait, but he didn’t deal with it, and in verse eight, Cain murdered his brother. If Cain had ruled over the anger in his heart, he never would have gone to the step of murder.

James 1:14-15 outlines the steps from the temptation to sin. “Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his own desire. 15 Then, having conceived, the desire gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” Lust is not just a sexual thing; lust is a desire. 

When we do not rule over evil desires like God instructed Cain to do, we will be overtaken by sin. To rule over sin means to be a master over it; if we take the thought captive sent won’t have a chance.

1 Corinthians 10:13 CJB “No temptation has seized you beyond what people normally experience, and God can be trusted not to allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. On the contrary, along with the temptation he will also provide the way out, so that you will be able to endure.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 CJB “For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way; because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah.”

Scripture is clear on how we handle temptation. God told Cain to rule over it, James gave us the steps from the temptation to sin, and in Corinthians, Paul tells us how to overcome it. We can overcome temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture to the devil; we must do the same. We either give into the flesh or put our flesh under subjection; the choice is ours. Choose victory today!

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